Thursday, August 31, 2017

Book Review: 'Manumission' by Liz Harding

British author ER Harding makes an impressive debut with this very fine science fiction fantasy. It is obvious that she has training in both science and technology as her descriptors reveal. This may be science fiction, but it has a ring to every page that make sit seem wholly credible!

The plot summary opens the door to this fine story well enough to seduce the reader into the novel – ‘In a not-too-distant future, where wealth is measured by credits and almost all people are surveyed and tracked with barcodes, the Metaform Corporation is one of the wealthiest, most talked about and controversial companies in existence. To save the vulnerable from death and preserve the human race, the Metaform mainframe can store a person's consciousness for an infinite amount of time and download it into a new, upgraded bio-frame - potentially meaning that that oh-so-illusive human ambition, immortality, has been reached once and for all. Of course, with an insurmountable amount of credits, this ambition can be reached with little to no wait-time. Without the funds, being stored in cyber-space indefinitely is a very real possibility. Cults, terrorists and religious groups protest the Metaform constantly, and raids and attacks are a very real threat. When Gabriel and Errik hatch a plot to take down the Metaform from within its own mainframe, things start to go awry and they learn more about the Metaform, its directors and some of its inhabitants, than they ever expected...’

Harding makes this technically challenging concept seem as though it is happening somewhere right now, so well defined are the aspects of this strange story. But we must all agree that were it not for the advances in science at present (and those elaborated by the plethora of science fiction movies that appear to be or obsession or escape mechanisms at present!) the story may not have seemed so powerful.

Hopefully this is but the first novel to come from the pen of ER Harding! Grady harp, July 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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